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The On-Air Advocate

Feb 26, 2021

As we continue our Heart of it All Series for American Heart Month, I am so excited to welcome, Kim Christenson & Veloris Brooks, Volunteers & Heart Attack Survivors, American Heart Association
About Kim:
Kim Christenson suffered a major heart attack in September 2016. She had just finished up a training session with her friend, when she started to feel a burning in her chest and unimaginable pain in her neck, jaw and back. As the pain continued to worsen, she began to recognize that something was wrong and called 911.
This is where her perfect chain of survival began. Because Kim did not hesitate one more second with calling 911, the paramedics came when they did. Because the paramedics are part of the American Heart Association’s Mission Lifeline program, they were able to use Kim’s EKG reading to alert the hospital that they needed to prepare a Cath lab for her. Because that Cath lab was ready upon arrival, doctors were able to determine that Kim was suffering from what is known as a widow maker’s heart attack: 100% blockage in the left descending artery and perform emergency surgery.
Kim coded 6 times as doctors worked to place a stent in her artery, so she is forever grateful for the help and care that she received that day and for the perfect chain of survival that has given her the opportunity to share her story with other women and spread awareness about the prevalence of heart attacks in women.
About Veloris :
At age 40, Veloris Brooks was misdiagnosed for 5 months, traveling to the ER several times, with various symptoms. It was eventually discovered that her left artery was 90% blocked and the right was 50% blocked. She had to undergo a triple bypass surgery to repair her heart.
Veloris has been an active volunteer with the American Heart Association for the last few years; she is extremely passionate about the AHA’s community impact and health equity work and uses her story as a testament to the importance of women advocating for themselves and their health.
Listen in as Kim & Veloris’ share their personal heart journeys, why it’s so important to advocate for your health & always listen to your body.